Vinyl's annual holiday

Friday, April 20, 2012

This Saturday marks the one day a year devoted especially to the role of independent music stores and the relationship between artists and their fans.

Now in its fifth year, Record Store Day is celebrated all over the world with special live performances, exclusive memorabilia and limited edition artist releases; vinyl aficionados and fans alike mark the calendar and prepare a game plan in advance to get the music they want.

For me, it's a major holiday. I have a small but growing record collection of around 150 albums -- thanks in part to my parents giving me their vinyl -- and it grows more and more with each passing Record Store Day. In Cape Girardeau, PMac Records (at 2500 William St.) is the place to be for the event. Store owner Paul MacDougall told me it's one of his favorite days of the year, as well.

"It's so exciting to have one day when people get in here and become reacquainted with records," he said. "And to have the special, one time only, instantly out-of-print vinyl that comes in every year is phenomenal."

This year, there are many exciting exclusive releases being planned for Record Store Day. Vinyl Collective (vinylcollective.com) has been compiling and updating a list of announced releases, like exclusive 7-inch vinyl by artists like the Arctic Monkeys, James Brown, Flogging Molly, Florence + The Machine and Garbage. Every store will get different albums, but PMac will have some of these releases and tons of special discounts in celebration.

But Record Store Day is more than just a day of great sales; it's a moment for musical reflection. Of my favorite albums, most were originally released on vinyl (Led Zeppelin albums before "Coda," any Beatles release, Miles Davis' "Round About Midnight," etc.). Saturday, join me in appreciating and celebrating the independent music stores like PMac that help keep us all connected to recorded music's roots.

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